The Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit organization that informs consumers about car safety issues, has asked the federal government to reopen its investigation into deadly crash-related fires occurring in older-model Jeep SUVs. Rear-crash fires in these vehicles, which were recalled in June 2013, have reportedly resulted in a number of deaths since the recall was issued. A database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicated that Jeeps have caused 19 fire-related deaths over the past three years, with 11 of those deaths occurring in the recalled vehicles.
The recall was issued in 2013 after information came to light that low-speed crashes were causing the Jeep gas tanks, which are made out of plastic, to rupture, spill gasoline and explode. A total of 75 people died in crash-related fires prior to the recall, according to the NHTSA. The fires were found to occur in Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured between 1993 and 1998 and Jeep Liberty SUVs manufactured between 2002 and 2007.
The recall of 1.56 million Jeep SUVs did not permanently take the cars off the road but instead provided for repairs that included the installation of a trailer hitch to protect the gas tank and fix the vehicle defect.
Now that an auto safety watchdog group has said that the recall was ineffective, as evidenced by the fatal accidents, it is possible that the government will have to get involved again.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler could potentially be exposed to personal injury and product liability lawsuits filed by drivers injured as a result of the defective vehicles.
To learn more about the Jeep recall, view the Yahoo.com article, “Safety Advocate Asks Gov’t to Reopen Jeep Fire Investigation.”
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective auto part, you need to speak with a qualified product liability attorney. The experienced product liability lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi can help you explore all of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Brick or Freehold, NJ.